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Southwestern Selects New Company to Operate its Bookstore

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University signs 10-year contract with Follett

Southwestern University has selected Follett Higher Education Group (FHEG) to take over its bookstore operations beginning June 8. The new contract will run through 2021.

Southwestern began searching for a new company to run its bookstore after longtime local operator Larry Connell announced his retirement this spring.

Follett Higher Education Group, which is headquartered in Oak Brook, Ill., is the leading provider of bookstore services and the foremost supplier of used books in North America. Follett services five million students and more than 400,000 faculty members through more than 900 stores. Follett also services more than 1,600 independent campus stores with its wholesale services, and has the most visited ecommerce collegiate website, efollett.com, which provides services and products through a network of more than 900 campus stores.

“Follett is in an ideal position to leverage its experience and market presence to meet the needs of our students and faculty – bringing the best to our bookstore operation,” said Provost Jim Hunt, who co-chaired the Bookstore Selection Committee. Richard Anderson, vice president for fiscal affairs and co-chair of the selection committee added, “We are very confident that selecting Follett to operate our bookstore is the best choice for our campus and community – Follett will bring new services and more ways to address costs of books for our students.”

Follett recently announced the expansion of Rent-A-Text, their latest cost-saving program to help alleviate the costs of course materials. Follett also offers CafeScribe, a new ebook delivery tool that is exclusive to Follett. With the expansion of the rental and ebook offerings, FHEG’s e-commerce and faculty web resources, including online ordering and book information, offers Southwestern students, faculty, staff, parents and alumni the most innovative and convenient ways to conduct bookstore business both on campus and through the web.

Tom Christopher, president of FHEG, said that as part of this new contract, Southwestern will see a refreshed campus store, featuring improvements from Follett’s design and implementation team, and an improved web presence to better connect students, faculty, staff, parents and alumni to the bookstore.

 “We are committed to delivering our world-class services through the Southwestern University Bookstore,” Christopher said. “We look forward to working directly with the campus and community to ensure that the campus store is taking full advantage of our innovative and cost-saving programs. Follett is extremely proud to have Southwestern University as our newest partner.”